Failure to hit sales targets in December together with one off charges tipped UK enterprise applications supplier JBA into the red for its fiscal year, which ended 31 December 1998.
Although revenues rose 31 per cent to #293 million compared with the previous year, the company made a pretax loss of #1.7 million, after non recurring costs of #8 million, which were partially offset by the sale of its distribution division, CSD, for #12.8 million. In 1997, JBA made profits of #5.2 million.
Alan Vickery, JBA?s chairman, said: "In line with most other ERP vendors, 1998 was very disappointing for JBA. Traditionally, December has always been a very good month and achieving budget in 1998 relied upon this trend continuing. In fact, it was a poor month and the expected #40 million of product revenues was not achieved."
The firm generated licence revenues of #23 million instead, which lead to an underlying trading loss of #6.5 million.
But Keith Briddon, JBA?s chief executive, said: "A combination of cost control and management focus n our key areas leads me to be confident about JBA?s prospects in 1999."
He added that, in light of the fact that professional services revenue grew by 54 per cent to #88 million last year, the allocation of the firm?s 1999 budget now reflected an increased service content and lower dependence on licence sales, particularly towards the end of the year.
JBA had also redeployed staff from key product development roles and elsewhere into revenue earning activities and customer service functions, he said. It had also set up a national services group to improve service levels and reduce duplication and costs, and had appointed new, experienced management to previously underperforming subsidiaries in Germany and the Americas.
The supplier is also attempting to boost its partner programmes to encourage more consultancies to recommend its products, and has set up a training and accreditation scheme for its own staff to try and motivate them and increase their business and technical expertise.
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